Between Concept And Identity
Religious Expressions of Chicanos in Los Angeles. From the body to the streets.
A paper by Arq. Myriam Mahiques
Edited by Esteban Fernández Cobián. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK. PP 163-169. 2014. ISBN (10) 1-44386520-6. ISBN (13):978-1-4433-65203
I’m happy to say that this paper of mine has been published in a compiled edition of the Symposium Between Concept and Identity, that was held in Spain in 2009:
” the Ourense Bishopric through the Santa María Nai Foundation and the Ourense Branch of Galician Official Association of Architects (COAG) have called a new edition to be held from November 12 through 14, 2009 in Ourense under the title: Contemporary Religious Architecture. Between Concept and Identity.”
This is my introduction:
I propose a sub-classification within representational spaces, full of complex symbolism and usually related to the underground side of life: there is a third space or Nepantla, applied to the culture of Mexican immigrants in the USA and their descendants, popularly called Chicanos. They create this new space from the feeling of being in the middle as a cultural link among Anglos, Mexicans and Indigenous people. Nepantla is considered to be a transitional stage that simply starts with language. One of the cultural settlement strategies is precisely the process of trans-culture acquisition and value transfer, which is summarised in a different culture reflecting the ambiguity of mixed race. Once the Nepantla tensions are understood and faced, the native Being/I is recovered and thus Nepantla becomes a psychological, spiritual and political space where Chicanos find the meaning of their culture by recovering the ancestral. Those religious spaces range from bodily artistic expressions to the materialisation of traditional little altars at home and it is expanded to the urban scale, to worshipping the dead and to Catholic rites in the street where both the harmoniously co-existing Catholic and pagan imaginaries give rise to massive gatherings. Therefore, we must analyse the religious expressions of Chicanos as an unavoidable part of their social reality in the city of Los Angeles portrayed at every possible scale. Due to their own restrictive colonial origins, they do not need a containing building but are merely supported by faith.
The concept was inspired by oil rigs.
The flotation platforms are equipped with separate motors synchronized to meet the triple function of displacement; the unfolding of the trays from the center and keep the momentum of the whole, concentrically positioned to generate centrifugal force.
The structure is resolved into four levels: the flotation level, which stores the machinery of the lifting hydraulic pistons of the different trays and propulsion engines, located within the flotation platforms.
The deck level, in which the dressing rooms, restrooms, general storage, image and sound room, press room, and the crew and captain’s cabin are located.
Two emergency staircases and a lift, located in each of the three structural columns, link these levels to the stage and backstage; and a retractable spiral staircase, located in the back of the lift, connects this level with the bridges and grill located on the stage, from which the different curtains hang.
The front tray can be converted into bleachers that can be used as the orchestra pit, in musical performances, taking advantage of their inclination to access it directly from the deck level.
The materials to be used in the structure and flotation platforms are Aluminum, and the partition walls are made from Titanium panels, which gives low maintenance as well as a lower operating cost due to the specific weight, which helps to ease the mobile loading trays.
The roof deck and the stage will be made in treated teak wood, dried in an autoclave and cemented.
The roof of the stage, backstage and wings will be like bellows composed of a series of linked poly-carbonate panels, folded with metal ball joints, to give protection and also serve as adjustable acoustic panels according to the activity carried on stage.
Aerial view in folded position (wire-frame)
and sound room, press room, and the crew and captain’s cabin are located.
Side view in folded position
The lifting hydraulic pistons (folded position)
performances, taking advantage of their inclination to access it directly from the deck level.
Inhospitable world that lies ahead, caused by the indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources, which leads us to a change in attitude towards the use of the land. Natural disasters we have been experiencing in recent years, tell us that we must not only stop the aggression, but we must defend ourselves from the natural reaction in response to our attack; as in the Middle Ages, the walled city could be the last resort and the ocean, our next habitat.
Our building has a three-dimensional shell of reinforced concrete, inverted bell-shaped and perforated open to the sky in one side; the slight tilt allows the entry of sunlight and prevents the prevailing winds in the area, provide an habitat conducive to farming and people.
inside, clusters of micro communities are located attached to the vertical circulation, consisting of 15-story buildings with self-contained residential units, offices and daily commerce; all this is surrounded by a living structure that provides the residents of the green space required to oxygenate and create a micro-climate that is right at the highest levels. These structures will be used as farms and community gardens.
Each housing unit has its own fully-connected to the outside world by worldwide network, leading to a decentralization of urban and energy saving mass transit.
Economic and cultural exchange occurs on the bridges that connect the central vertical core with peripherals, placed at various levels in a cross, serving as inter-neighborhood connection with schools, supermarkets, entertainment facilities and communal agencies inside as well as outdoor plazas on their roofs.
These bridges, also serve to unburden the towers to the structure perimeter, separating each tower to reduce the size of the support columns.
The base of the concrete perimeter wall is submerged in the sea, and in it are the waste recycling plants, which turn into gas that provides energy to the complex. There is also the water treatment plant will be reused for irrigation of cropland.
The roof of each tower and blinds perimeter units are equipped with photo-voltaic panels with the function of heating, cooling and electricity to the building complex.
An interior lagoon is located at sea level and connected by dikes levelers, acting as a harbor, protected from waves and tides, which is used as a reserve fire tank and photo-voltaic’s battery.
Growing vegetable gardens are suspended from a living basket created from a bundle of logs and branches through the use of synthetic biology, creating an organism programmed to behave like a computer, from grafts placed around the vertical circulation ducts fed land that is fertilized in the high places of the horizontal connectors. These products also play the role of exchange and recycling of waste located in the submerged levels of the building.
Artificial photosynthesis will be used through various procedures to achieve efficient and cheap power. Under the artificial lake located in the float level, is a laboratory that developed the separation of hydrogen and oxygen during light phase photosynthesis to replace oil as an energy source and get water very efficiently.
Dark phase of photosynthesis seek artificial catalysts that produce fuel from the carbon dioxide or its derivatives.
Domotics omoticswill be used in energy saving, comfort, security, communications and accessibility, using a mixed architecture, which allows individual devices incorporate diverse market that provides a centralized structure that promotes energy saving building and be flexible to technological changes that lie ahead.
Finally, the shape of the wall upward spiral, it is proposed to support the growth of population, whose foundation is expanding towards the Earth’s crust created underwater by living tissue using synthetic biology.